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August 21, 2012


Charles Cara

Thank you for an insightful contribution to the debate about how some form of political union can be created inside the Eurozone. Looking at the Karlsruhe decision on the European Parliament, I am surprised that no one has taken it to task on assertion that it is undemocratic because citizens are not equally represented. There are many examples of such parliaments around the world. For instance, in the Senate of Canada, a Senator in British Columbia represents 685,581 (according to Wikipedia) yet the Senator of Nunavut represents just 29,474. So the largest constituency is 23 times the size of the smallest. Likewise, in the US Senator Barbara Boxer represents some 18m Californians, while John Barrasso just 250,000 residents of Wyoming. This is a ratio of 72x. Neither of these houses seen as democratically deficient. So in this context the difference between Germany (1 representative per 826,000) against Malta (1 representative per 75,000) does not look excessive with a ratio of 11x. There are many ways of arguing that the European Parliament undemocratic, but proportionality seems to be the weakest of them.

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